Time for this years roundup.
Good: The weather! Absolutely gorgeous sunshine all 4 days, no rain, moderate humidity. Gate 10 Parking was very good this year with what looked like quick shuttles. Also, the awesome people at customer service who would actually take the returns for tickets and then go get your Will Call tickets so one did not have to wait in 2 separate lines. Also, a shout out to several awesome DMs on Saturday at JW running D&D Adv. Leagues games. Fun, fun with tons of hilarity and great adventures.
Bad: STILL not enough food trucks for the masses. Even at off times, the lines were 20 people deep, except on Sunday. And need more places for people to sit when eating.
Ugly: WTH is up with the Nazi security personnel at the JW Marriot. I was kind of ticked at watching several people getting what looked to be harassed in the lobby for what looked like no reason...
All in all, another incredible time and so much fun. Next year can’t come soon enough - though the 20+ miles of walking does require recovery time :)
Ok, share your thoughts.
"Ugly: WTH is up with the Nazi security personnel at the JW Marriot. I was kind of ticked at watching several people getting what looked to be harassed in the lobby for what looked like no reason..."
When did that happen? If people are being harassed, I want to re-think staying there again in the future. I don't want to tolerate that.
Good: The new app handles much of the basic things you'd flip through a con book for, like maps. Going with that the wifi in the convention held up well AFAICT.
Bad: The app needs a better mark for electronic tickets. I spent an hour or so looking around and going to con ops for a "lost" ticket that was an e-ticket. Perhaps something visually distinctive in the app for E-ticket events?
Ugly: Finding stuff in the app, particularly events, when you have an unexpected block of free time was frustrating due to the clunkiness of the app. Just opening the schedule got you the entire schedule from Wednesday on, even if you were looking on Saturday night. Some way to filter for events not yet played would be nice.
Also supposedly the anime viewing room schedule was buried in the events list, somewhere. But there seemed to be no easy or obvious way to filter it out. using "anime" as a keyword certainly didn't pop out results.
the tl:dr version is a few, possibly the same person, was either pushing or unclear on the line that separated GenCon rented spaces from Hotel public spaces. And people having pickup games or even just hanging out in these public spaces being asked to prove they have Gencon badges.
Good: Awesome game masters this year. I don't think anything changed from year to year, it's just that I apparently got super lucky this year with my choices. That's just chance, but it's still a good.
Also: Thanks to the retro arcade for taking care of my prescription sunglasses when I left them there by accident! I thought I was out nearly $300. But nope, safe and sound on their check-in desk. Related - kudos to the main office staffers who were helpful and offered to take my name and cell number in case it was turned in. That was all they could do, but they did it, and were really nice about doing what they could to help.
Bad: Those super big and deep backpacks one of the vendors was selling. I'm sure they hold a lot, but I can't tell you how many times I got bumped and squeezed in the vendor hall because those things were *soooo big*.
I think it should be a point of etiquette that going through the vendor hall should mean taking up a minimal footprint. But at the same time, if someone's in a far off hotel and doesn't have anywhere to store what they need that day besides their back, what do they do? I don't know what a good answer would be here.
Ugly: My hotel bill and dinner expenses, but those are expected. ;)
All joking aside, the real Ugly is for things I personally never witnessed, but shouldn't ever be tolerated: Incidents of harassment. Those are just unacceptable. I read somewhere that some rando on a scooter also harassed a small group after outright asking them if they were there for the con. Talk about a dick move. Also, there's the story above. That's simply not acceptable. Whether it's done by hotel or convention staff or some random jerk on the street because he's a jerk, it's never something to just accept. Fighting doesn't have to be negative - a person could oppose it simply by being awesome to others at Gen Con - but that harassment shouldn't ever be left to stand unopposed.
Would have liked to hear maybe a little bit about Corey Konieczka leaving Fantasy Flight and starting at a new development studio. At least that studio is under the Asmodee umbrella.
Well... that's not proper, but I have to be honest: I was thinking it was something much worse. What happened was not good, but it could've been addressed by simply going to the operations office (I think it was ICC 116, same office as Lost & Found) and letting them know that badges were being checked out of Gen Con areas.
When I first pictured "harassment", I was thinking something done out of anger, hatred or intolerance. This situation appears to be someone overstepping their job expectations by performing it in the wrong place. It's not right, but at the same time, it's a different level of offense.
Did not see the post on someone asking for badges but I did see some security guy (actually 2 of them but one was hanging back) giving a hard time to a group which was just kind of sitting around playing some game and it looked like he got them to leave.
Maybe a bad spot they picked but damn... it’s a game convention - what are you expecting?
Maybe having a bad day, who knows. In retrospect, security may have been asking for badges I guess, so it may have been for different reasons from my vantage point, but still...
Friendly vendors and staff
Very few food trucks with gluten free options. I packed my own gf bread this year to make sandwiches, but I’d like some variety.
There was no place for breastfeeding/pumping mothers in Lucas Oil Stadium.
Also, the two places in the convention center are close together, I’d love to see another added on the opposite side of the building or spreading those apart.
I had a great time, got almost everything I came for, and I had ALL excellent players this year, which is super nice.
NONE of my games had too MANY people, which means I could pay attention to all of them, and hear them, and hopefully they could hear me.
Got to meet up with some friends (Hey Voice of Reason!) and on the way out to head home I stumbled over the Fans of GC handing out dice. Was greedy and grabbed four, one for me, each daughter, and my daughter's boss, who attended but didn't know about the booth.
The weather was fantastic.
First time at JW, the rooms were definitely smallish, but the beds were super comfy and the staff was nice.
Was it me or was the will call line just ALWAYS there? Usually its only up to the Shadowrun room wednesday and thursday morning. This year it was almost perpetually there except in the evenings.
My daughters were unable to attend this year. Now that I've gotten used to bringing them, I really missed having them around. :(
*I actually had pretty great food truck experiences. The coconut curry chicken w/ rice and beans from Blue Lagoon was one of the best meals I've had anywhere in quite some time.
*Due to a surgery this summer, I had to be on a knee cart, and so many people, from security to GM's to fellow con-goers, couldn't have been more considerate and accommodating.
*Both RPG DM's I had were great.
*The Dice Throne tournament was a blast.
*Missed the Dominion tournament Rio Grande used to run.
*The bathroom situation in the stadium field isn't great.
Good (there was a lot of them):
* The Sandy Petersen Cthulhu seminar was amazing. He really knows his Cthulhu. And he stayed after to chat and take a picture or 2.
* The weather made my first Orc Stomp very enjoyable.
* Playtest Hall - So much fun and a great way to spend 2 hours at the con.
* Charity Auction - my son and I make this a not-to-miss event. Jim the auctioneer makes it fun and the crowd gets into the spirit for charity. Including a winning bid of $6500 on an item this year
* The back and forth banter with my son while walking the vendor hall on Sunday.
* The zanyness of Toon went up a couple of notches when the (fire) Beatle puns started. Including a Yoko Ono reference from the GM (well done!). The laughter and groans were great.
* The conversations you have with complete strangers including a sci fi book discussion while in Will Call line.
* Got to meet and talk to Peter Adkison.
* Construction. Nothing Gencon could do about it. Hopefully we won't see more in 2020
-My wife attending for the very first time and giving it a chance. She had a good time.
-My 11th Con in the last 12 yrs. it was good to get back.
- The weather was just amazing.
- St. Elmo’s Steakhouse...I wish I had tried that place sooner.
- Island Noodles & Box Burger - great eats on the go.
- All of the staff for GenCon, ICC, and the vendors were very nice and helpful especially to my wife.
- I felt many of the food trucks left a lot to be desired...try seasoning your food so it doesn’t alway taste bland or boiled.
- Coolstuffinc booth: I felt like they really didn’t bring the good stuff this year for sale. I could be wrong though.
- People with exhibitor badges lined up at booths before the doors opened at 10. Were these people really VIGers? I don’t mind people beating me to the booth from the doors, but to have 20 people already in line when I came in from the closest door is ridiculous.
-Insert typical rant about hygiene and large backpacks here. My wife got hit good by one and it left a bruise on her arm with no apology. It only takes a fraction of a second to peek over your shoulder before moving so you don’t hit anyone, but so few do it.